China on Monday sentenced a 78-year-old US citizen to life in prison for espionage.
Jun Sheng Wan Leung, who resides permanently in Hong Kong, was arrested on April 15, 2021 by the counterintelligence agency in the southeastern city of Suzhou. The city’s Intermediate Court announced Leung’s sentence in a brief statement on its social media site, but did not detail the charges.
These investigations and trials take place behind closed doors and little or no information is released.
Relations between Washington and Beijing have reached a historic low over disagreements over trade, technology, human rights and China’s increasingly aggressive approach to its territorial claims.
The decision comes as US President Joe Biden travels to Hiroshima, Japan for a summit of the Group of Seven major industrial nations, followed by a visit to Papua New Guinea, a Pacific island nation in a region where China has sought to stimulate its economy. . Military and diplomatic influence.
While the Suzhou court has made no indication of a connection to Sino-American relations in general, the espionage charges are very selective and no supporting evidence has been released. This is a common practice in most countries, who want to secure their personal communications, networks and access to information.
However, China’s authoritarian political system and the ruling Communist Party’s absolute control over legal matters, civil society, and freedom of information discourage requests for more information, as well as legal challenges.
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